The very fact that tax cuts have a sunset provision—a certain end-date—proves the pervasive socialist attitude in Washington that all money belongs to the government. Occasionally taxpayers are allowed to keep a little more of the money they earn, such as with a temporary tax cut usually targeted at jumpstarting a lagging economy. But when the tax cut expires and is extended, it should not be held up as some fearless action on the part of Congress. Taxpayers shouldn’t be viewed as beggars beneath the dinner table pleading for leftover crumbs. Nor should they be regarded as gullible fools who can be conned into believing maintaining current tax levels is really a tax cut.
Has our national discourse really devolved into such a state that the starting point is the assumption that government gets to determine how much money the people are allowed to keep? Such an assumption is antithetical to everything this nation was founded upon.
Class warfare has now also become an intrinsic part of the public debate over taxes. The rich are immediately demonized for not paying their “fair share.” So who exactly are “the rich”? One classic quip offers this definition: "rich begins where my income ends." Anyone making $250,000 or more a year will tell you they live well, but they’re not exactly the jet-setting crowd Democrats wants the public to visualize when they hear the word "wealthy."
In selling the tax deal, even the President is using Gallup polling showing two-thirds of Americans approve of lower tax rates for all Americans—including the wealthy. Certain entitlement-minded segments of the country want higher taxes on those they arbitrarily deem wealthy. But the majority of hard-working Americans understand that no one should be penalized for their success. Where is the incentive to become wealthy in a society that demonizes and punishes through excessive taxation?
President Obama is right: it’s time to fundamentally transform America—but not into the socialist state he envisions. It’s time to fundamentally transform the way we view taxation. Tax cuts should never be temporary and used only to stimulate the economy. The money does not belong to government—it belongs to the people who earn it.